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Tad Haas

Innovation

Managing Ideas With Employee Engagement and Collaboration

How idea management software can help engage employees

Published: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - 11:03

According to Forbes, employees whose voices are heard are nearly five times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.

Every team leader must keep their employees engaged and motivated so that they can benefit from their expertise. They can achieve this by taking a holistic approach to managing their employees’ ideas and by using tools such as ideation software to facilitate collaboration across departments.

This article gives a quick overview of what your approach to engagement should consist of and how idea management software can help make it a possibility.

Empower your team to solve existing problems

A perfect way to empower your team and significantly improve engagement is to encourage them to provide solutions to existing problems.

By asking for your teams’ advice in solving challenges that affect the business, you make it clear that their opinion is valued. An employee who feels that they can truly make a difference will be more motivated to put their suggestions forward.

We find that our customers get the best response from challenges that are:

• Well-structured with clear objectives
• Centered around a clear purpose and an expected set of outcomes
• Transparent, with clear time scales and next steps

Allow time for inspiration

To get the most from your teams’ creativity, avoid setting specific periods for them to brainstorm. Ideas can come to professionals and creatives when they least expect them to, so it won’t be in your company’s interest to force them.

It can also help to invest in idea management software that is available on desktop and mobile devices. This way, your employees can create ideas whenever they are inspired, whether that’s sitting in the office or mulling over a cup of tea in a café.

Make collaboration easy (and fun!)

Busy employees are more likely to engage in innovation and ideation if the process is not only simple to master but also enjoyable. Ideation software enables them to vote on ideas created by their colleagues, discuss practicalities, and see the progress of suggestions they’ve put forward themselves.

Collaboration and the ability to see that their ideas make a difference will give meaning to the work that your employees carry out. According to Deloitte, meaningful work is a key factor in employee engagement and retention, so you are less likely to lose valuable skills to a competitor.

Additionally, ideas should not be dismissed out of hand, and it should be made clear that those with potential have been explored further. Don’t turn down ideas that may have potential without first exploring the possible benefits they may provide and their plausibility.

In many cases, one person may come up with an idea that may sound promising but difficult to implement. That’s where collaboration can help because it can allow other team members to assess an inkling of an idea, build on it, improve it, and see it to fruition.

Provide creative autonomy

To enable your teams to be creative and come up with fresh ideas, it’s essential to provide them with opportunities to do so independently.

Don’t set limitations on the types of ideas that your team should pursue. Giving them creative autonomy can allow them to think of suggestions outside of their remit, which may not have been put forward otherwise. (You can, however, give them a steer by setting up specific challenges for problems that you would like to solve.)

Thus, although it’s important to provide your team with solid leadership, you should not try to micro-manage their idea creation. Instead, you should employ a leadership strategy that revolves around guiding your team to reach the implementation stage. Trust your team to use their expertise to provide creative solutions for your company.

This way, your employees can feel valued for their contribution and can operate in ways that allow them to provide their best work.

Incentivize idea creation

You must remember that your company will greatly benefit from employees who are happy with their jobs. Overlooked or undervalued team members will begin to look for rewards and challenges outside of your company, diverting their focus and dedication to their work. Thus, you should ensure that you provide your team members with competitive salaries and other benefits upon successful large-scale project completions.

On a smaller scale, you could also use an employee engagement platform to offer small rewards for people who come up with popular suggestions or who are active in engaging with their colleague’s suggestions.

Last few words

When creating ideas and choosing those to implement, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what your business is about and what it’s trying to achieve. This enables you to develop a workplace environment that is focused on creating new ideas that serve the business’s goals.

So, make sure that your teams are aware of those goals and continue to encourage, support, and experiment with new ideas. For more information on using ideation software to support innovation and engagement, visit edison365.

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About The Author

Tad Haas’s picture

Tad Haas

As a passionate innovation and technology evangelist, Tad is the Executive Vice President at edison365, working with some of the most innovative companies in the world, every day. With years of experience in change management and business building, Tad has plenty of transformation stories to share in manufacturing, engineering, financial services plus health and life sciences. A long tenure at Microsoft, at the front-end of innovation and project management software delivery, helped him see what it means to transform and deliver at scale

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HBS Research

HBS Research showes that effectively engaging employees in improving the economics of your business, economic engagement, drives substantially higher profit growth.  Details are found in this article: https://www.inc.com/bill-fotsch/a-key-strategy-to-double-your-profitable-growth.html